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Friday, January 14, 2011

The House That Will Steal Your Dreams


From: http://gizmodo.com/


















OK, house of my dreams, you knew our love affair couldn't last. It's. OVER. It's not your fault, honey. It's hers. My new love stole my heart. I'm headed to Kamala beach—in Phuket, Thailand—to live with her forever.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I still like you very much. If you are into it, you can both share me. Actually, the three of you can get me in bed anytime. But Villa Amanzi—designed by Original Vision and built in 2008—has most of my heart. What's not to love about this dream home, perched on a 197-foot-high cliff overlooking the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea?
Absolutely nothing.

I'll be there soon, Villa Amanzi. [Archdaily]

Shanghai's Impossibly Overloaded Bikes!

Alain Delorme Overloaded Bikes Totem 15 
Photo: Alain Delorme
China is the world’s 3rd largest country, and with over 1.3 billion people, the most populous. For decades China remained closed off to the outside world, either struggling through the troubles of civil war or due to the secretive nature of its Communist government.
Alain Delorme Overloaded Bikes Totem 5 
Photo: Alain Delorme
Since the 1970’s, though, the country has opened up and has taken its place at the international table of superpowers. Due to its huge population and natural resources, China is a manufacturing powerhouse that will soon become the biggest and most powerful economy in the world. The economic boom has seen cities become mega cities, sprawling across vast areas and decorated with some of the tallest buildings in the world.
Alain Delorme Overloaded Bikes Totem 9 
Photo: Alain Delorme
However, in between these polished golden skyscrapers and beneath the looming financial might are the people who keep the cities ticking, the average citizens who provide the work – and oil the gears of the newest kid on the superpower block. Because of the population density and its associated issues, the citizens of China’s most populous city, Shanghai, have developed their own means of ensuring progress. Here is a glimpse at some of the most innovative means used.
Alain Delorme Overloaded Bikes Totem 4 
Photo: Alain Delorme
In China, bikes are everywhere. Pushbikes, motorbikes, mopeds, scooters – you name it, they've got it. In cities too large and congested to get everything where it needs to go in transit vans or HGVs, bikes are the main means of transport.
Alain Delorme Overloaded Bikes Totem 1 
Photo: Alain Delorme
From tires to rubbish, nothing is too heavy or too big to fit on a bike; you just need the right amount of rope.
Alain Delorme Overloaded Bikes Totem 2 
Photo: Alain Delorme
China is building skyscrapers at a rate only seen before in Sim City. According to Cranestodaymagazine.com, China is the largest market for cranes in the world, but the Chinese still rely on one of the the oldest forms of modern transport to get materials from A to B.
Alain Delorme Overloaded Bikes Totem 7 
Photo: Alain Delorme
There are no machines used in the stacking of bikes, proof of the people's improvisation and innovation – in the Chinese sense of making do with what you've got.
Alain Delorme Overloaded Bikes Totem 13 
Photo: Alain Delorme
China swept to the top of the medal table at the Beijing Olympics in 2008; it's just a pity there wasn't an Olympic medal available in Jenga.
Alain Delorme Overloaded Bikes Totem 8 
Photo: Alain Delorme
Flowers provide the perfect example of the delicate art of overloading bikes, proving that loading a bike in this way isn't completely dependent on the tightness of a rope.
Alain Delorme Overloaded Bikes Totem 12 
Photo: Alain Delorme
Alain Delorme, who took these wonderful pictures, is a French photographer living and working in Paris. He studied Science and Technology in Photography at the University of Paris and has exhibited throughout Europe. His next exhibition, Totem, from which these pictures are taken, shows in Paris and Amsterdam in early 2011.
Alain Delorme Overloaded Bikes Totem 3 
Photo: Alain Delorme
Please see Alain Delorme's website for further details.

iPad Magic OR Illusion

<br/><a href="http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/ipad-magic/1jrhkzscx?src=v5:embed:&fg=sharenoembed" target="_new"title="iPad Magic">Video: iPad Magic</a>

iPad Magic
Steve Jobs should have hired this guy when he first showed off the iPad. Impressive street magic!

XWave for iPhone lets you read your own mind

by Lin EdwardsMore information: XWave - http://www.plxwave.com/



XWave for iPhone lets you read your own mind Enlarge


The XWave can sense and detect human brainwaves, interpret them and connect it to everyday technology.



(PhysOrg.com) -- A new application for the iPhone, the XWave, lets you read your own mind via a headset clamped to your head and connected to the phone’s audio jack.









The plastic headband, which costs around $100, has a sensor that presses against the user’s forehead and communicates with a free XWave iPhone application that then shows your brain waves graphically on the iPhone screen. As you focus your mind on a task the graphics are changed — a ball may move higher for instance, or your state of relaxation may be indicated by changes in a pulsating color, which moves towards blue as you become more relaxed.






Brainwave detection is powered by an NeuroSky eSense dry sensor, which provides a brain-computer interface (BCI) to sense even faint electrical impulses in the brain and convert them to digital signals that are sent to the iPhone. Previous applications of the NeuroSky technology include computer games and toys. In XWave an algorithm is applied to the brain rhythms to convert them to graphical representations of attention and meditation values.

XWave for iPhone lets you read your own mind
Enlarge


XWave enables you to manipulate a number of other iPhone graphical applications and objects in games using only your brain waves, providing your rating in attention or meditation is high enough. At present you cannot text or browse the web using XWave, but you can use the device to train your mind to relax and focus on command. The list of applications for the device is likely to grow rapidly.






XWave, developed by PLX Devices, is meant to be used purely for entertainment, but the implications for the future are enormous, and may be particularly important for people who are disabled since they may be able to have much more control in their lives using their alone to control their phonse and potentially other applications. According to PLX, the headset device is also open for use with applications from other companies.

XWave for iPhone lets you read your own mind
Enlarge

XWave iPhone app screen.

XWave is compatible with the , iPod Touch and iPad. Wireless versions are also available for WiFi and Bluetooth devices. The free XWave application is available for download via iTunes.



© 2010 PhysOrg.com

Who Needs An Engine When…

See You At The Finish Line, Bitches!!!

totalprosports.com



…when you can simply glide along the surface of the water with nothing but the power of your own rear end?  No board, no water skies, no paddle, and certainly no rope attached to a speed boat here.  Just man versus nature, and it looks like man is winning.
  I have always been impressed with liquid mountaineering, but those dudes have nothing on this guy!

MJ’s Son Marcus Jordan Leads Central Florida to Hot Start

From: http://thehoopdoctors.com/


January 12, 2011 – Kevin Burke
Can you imagine the pressure on the son of the greatest man to ever touch a basketball? Can you even fathom the basketball scrutiny and critique with which he much endure daily? No matter what type of player he would turn out to be, he would forever be compared to his father.  If nothing else, Marcus Jordan has shown so far this year that he has game and that he can lead a squad. Jordan’s University of Central Florida Knights have quietly gotten off to a 14 – 1 start this season and that’s thanks in large part to him.
UCF is off to their best start in their Division I history and are one of only seven teams to be undefeated after their first 14 games, before losing to Houston over the weekend. In a game last week against Marshall, MJ 2.0 dropped 26 points including 18 in the second half. Before their winning streak came to an end a few days ago, Jordan reacted to the attention the streak was receiving:
“We’re trying to not even think about the streak. We just want to go out and win the next game. Whenever the streak ends, it ends. But we’re trying to keep that from happening.”
Defense is actually what propelled the Knights to their hot start. In that same game against Marshall, UCF held them to under 30% shooting from the field and UCF had 11 total blocks as a team.
“Our defense has been our staple all year long and that’s the thing we’ve focused on. Everybody thinks we’re an offensive team, but the thing we preach the most is defense”, said head coach Donnie Jones.
After enduring an investigation this past summer due to an alleged gambling incident, Jordan, a sophomore, who has led the team in scoring seven times this year, is the Knights’ leading scorer at a 16.3ppg clip. That is more than double his freshman output of 8ppg where he earned a spot on Conference USA’s All-Freshman team.
The team just recently lost to Houston over the weekend, 76 – 71, but they are off to a blistering start. While not quite his father, Marcus has definitely shown that he has similar leadership qualities as the elder Jordan. In fact, earlier in the year, he also showed us that he can certain get up too.

World's Fastest Guitarist breaks his own record



Tiago Della Vega attempts to break his current world record in Intel's booth at CES. He holds the current world record for playing the guitar at 320 beats per minute. Today, he broke the world record by attempting to play at 340 bpm! What an incredible display of talent!

Computer History Museum's Stunning Exhibit [Slideshow]

pcmag.com — This Thursday, the Computer History Museum in Mountain View will unveil "R:Evolution," a $19 million renovation focusing on the first 2,000 years of computing. And it's amazing.

Great Gallery here:  http://www.pcmag.com/

The sun as you rarely see it... through millions of ice crystals called diamond dust

By Daily Mail Reporter
From: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

This amazing sunset with a difference is a phenomenon than can arise when you view the sun through millions of ice crystals.

As water freezes in the upper atmosphere, millions of small, six-sided ice crystals - known as diamond dust - flutter to the ground.

And at the approach of either sunrise or sunset, this is what an observer passing through the same plane as the falling crystals will see.

Sunset with a difference: This dazzling halo was taken in Stockholm, Sweden, with the sun at the centre and two bright sundogs glowing on the left and right
Sunset with a difference: This dazzling halo was taken in Stockholm, Sweden, with the sun at the centre and two bright sundogs glowing on the left and right

Each crystal acts like a miniature lens, refracting the eye's view of sunlight and creating the phenomena known as sundogs.

The dramatic effect is also referred to a mock sun or a phantom sun.


This sun halo image was taken in Stockholm, Sweden, with the sun in the centre while two bright sundogs glow prominently from the left and the right.

Also visible is a bright 22 degree halo - as well as the rarer and much fainter 46 degree halo - also created by sunlight reflecting off atmospheric ice crystals. 


Sundogs can be seen around the world as long as the conditions are suitable.
Sundogs: Famous painting Vädersolstavlan believed to be the oldest picture of the phenomena - and the first landscape portrait of Stockholm
Sundogs: Famous painting Vädersolstavlan believed to be the oldest picture of the phenomena - and the first landscape portrait of Stockholm


A famous Swedish painting from Stockholm in 1535 called Vädersolstavlan is thought to be the earliest ever picture of the natural phenomena.

It is also the oldest landscape painting of Stockholm - although the original by Urban Målare is thought to have been destroyed long ago.

However, a 1636 copy by Jacob Heinrich Elbfas is thought to be an accurate recreation of the original and has been restored in recent years.

Earliest Known Winery Found in Armenian Cave

From: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/


World's oldest, or earliest, known winemaking equipment, including a wine press (picture), as identified by a UCLA/National Geographic Society excavation
An apparent wine press (in front of sign) and fermentation vat (right) emerge during a dig in Armenia.
Photograph courtesy Gregory Areshian

James Owen

As if making the oldest known leather shoe wasn't enough, a prehistoric people in what's now Armenia also built the world's oldest known winery, a new study says.

Undertaken at a burial site, their winemaking may have been dedicated to the dead—and it likely required the removal of any fancy footwear.

Near the village of Areni, in the same cave where a stunningly preserved, 5,500-year-old leather moccasin was recently found, archaeologists have unearthed a wine press for stomping grapes, fermentation and storage vessels, drinking cups, and withered grape vines, skins, and seeds, the study says.

"This is the earliest, most reliable evidence of wine production," said archaeologist Gregory Areshian of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

"For the first time, we have a complete archaeological picture of wine production dating back 6,100 years," he said. (Related: "First Wine? Archaeologist Traces Drink to Stone Age.")

The prehistoric winemaking equipment was first detected in 2007, when excavations co-directed by Areshian and Armenian archaeologist Boris Gasparyan began at the Areni-1 cave complex.

In September 2010 archaeologists completed excavations of a large, 2-foot-deep (60-centimeter-deep) vat buried next to a shallow, 3.5-foot-long (1-meter-long) basin made of hard-packed clay with elevated edges.
The installation suggests the Copper Age vintners pressed their wine the old-fashioned way, using their feet, Areshian said.

Juice from the trampled grapes drained into the vat, where it was left to ferment, he explained.
The wine was then stored in jars—the cool, dry conditions of the cave would have made a perfect wine cellar, according to Areshian, who co-authored the new study, published Tuesday in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

(Related pictures: "Before and After: Wine-Cult Cave Art Restored in Petra.")

Wine Traces
To test whether the vat and jars in the Armenian cave had held wine, the team chemically analyzed pottery shards—which had been radiocarbon-dated to between 4100 B.C. and 4000 B.C.—for telltale residues.
The chemical tests revealed traces of malvidin, the plant pigment largely responsible for red wine's color.
"Malvidin is the best chemical indicator of the presence of wine we know of so far," Areshian said.
Ancient-wine expert Patrick E. McGovern, a biomolecular archaeologist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia, agrees the evidence argues convincingly for a winemaking facility.

One thing that would make the claim a bit stronger, though, said McGovern, who wasn't involved in the study, is the presence of tartaric acid, another chemical indicator of grapes. Malvidin, he said, might have come from other local fruits, such as pomegranates.

Combined with the malvidin and radiocarbon evidence, traces of tartaric acid "would then substantiate that the facility is the earliest yet found," he said.

"Later, we know that small treading vats for stomping out the grapes and running the juice into underground jars are used all over the Near East and throughout the Mediterranean," he added.
(Related: "Ancient Christian 'Holy Wine' Factory Found in Egypt.")

Winery Discovery Backed Up by DNA?
McGovern called the discovery "important and unique, because it indicates large-scale wine production, which would imply, I think, that the grape had already been domesticated."

As domesticated vines yield much more fruit than wild varieties, larger facilities would have been needed to process the grapes.

McGovern has uncovered chemical and archaeological evidence of wine, but not of a winery, in northern Iran dating back some 7,000 years—around a thousand years earlier than the new find.

But the apparent discovery that winemaking using domesticated grapevines emerged in what's now Armenia appears to dovetail with previous DNA studies of cultivated grape varieties, McGovern said. Those studies had pointed to the mountains of Armenia, Georgia, and neighboring countries as the birthplace of viticulture.
McGovern—whose book Uncorking the Past: The Quest for Wine, Beer, and Other Alcoholic Beverages traces the origins of wine—said the Areni grape perhaps produced a taste similar to that of ancient Georgian varieties that appear to be ancestors of the Pinot Noir grape, which results in a dry red.

To preserve the wine, however, tree resin would probably have been added, he speculated, so the end result may actually have been more like a Greek retsina, which is still made with tree resin.
In studying ancient alcohol, he added, "our chemical analyses have shown tree resin in many wine samples."

Ancient Drinking Rituals
While the identities of the ancient, moccasin-clad wine quaffers remain a mystery, their drinking culture likely involved ceremonies in honor of the dead, UCLA's Areshian believes.

"Twenty burials have been identified around the wine-pressing installation. There was a cemetery, and the wine production in the cave was related to this ritualistic aspect," Areshian speculated.
Significantly, drinking cups have been found inside and around the graves.

McGovern, the ancient-wine expert, said later examples of ancient alcohol-related funerary rituals have been found throughout the world.

In ancient Egypt, for example, "you have illustrations inside the tombs showing how many jars of beer and wine from the Nile Delta are to be provided to the dead," McGovern said. (Also see "Scorpion King's Wines—Egypt's Oldest—Spiked With Meds.")

"I guess a cave is secluded, so it's good for a cemetery, but it's also good for making wine," he added. "And then you have the wine right there, so you can keep the ancestors happy."

Future work planned at Areni will further investigate links between the burials and winemaking, study leader Areshian said.

Winemaking as Revolution
The discovery is important, the study team says, because winemaking is seen as a significant social and technological innovation among prehistoric societies.

Vine growing, for instance, heralded the emergence of new, sophisticated forms of agriculture, Areshian said.
"They had to learn and understand the cycles of growth of the plant," he said. "They had to understand how much water was needed, how to prevent fungi from damaging the harvest, and how to deal with flies that live on the grapes.

"The site gives us a new insight into the earliest phase of horticulture—how they grew the first orchards and vineyards," he added.

University of Pennsylvania archaeologist Naomi Miller commented that "from a nutritional and culinary perspective, wine expands the food supply by harnessing the otherwise sour and unpalatable wild grape.
"From a social perspective, for good and ill," Miller said, "alcoholic beverages change the way we interact with each other in society."
****
The ancient-winery study was led by UCLA's Hans Barnard and partially funded by the National Geographic Society's Committee for Research and Exploration. (The Society owns National Geographic News.)

Blue Rats and M&Ms

From: http://blogs.discovery.com/

Blue.rat.after.urmc

We all know that albino animals have pink eyes and skin.  So why is this albino lab rat blue?


Medical researchers have discovered that the blue dye used in food products such as M&Ms, Jell-O and Gatorade can actually help heal spinal injuries.  Injured rats regained the ability to walk after receiving an injection of the dye.  The side effect, of course, is that the rodents themselves turned blue.

Apparently, Americans eat over 100 million lbs. of this blue dye every year. Luckily, it seems the dye has to be injected in order to turn skin blue.

Snow Skating In Detroit: Filmed At 300 frames Per Second

by:doglife

from: http://skateboardingmagazine.com/



Just got back from our team trip in Detroit. Definitely had a great time and filmed some super sick shots for the new video.

15 Of The Most Confusing Films Ever Made

by Tim

from http://www.popcrunch.com/


Most films are pretty linear and easy to follow in their story telling. Others are muddled, but make sense when you think about them — like Memento. But some, some are designed to bewilder, obfuscate, and confuse. These 15 films are all varying degrees of head-scratchers. Some you can pick apart with a bit of work, some you are deliberately impossible to understand, but all are worth the effort of the attempt. Oh yeah, spoilers.

15. Vanilla Sky


While personally I didn’t find this American remake of the Spanish psycho-thriller that bewildering, there were plenty who did, to the point where it was voted the most confusing film ever by a DVD rental company. The fact of the matter is that much of the perceived twistedness and confusion from the plot is all resolved by the classic cop out “it was all a dream.” While perhaps not as utterly blatant as that, but the entire film takes place in the lucid dream of a man in cryogenic suspensions whose subconscious has started to assert itself. That explains the constantly switching nature of reality, and the weirdness that surrounds him. There, easy.

14. Pi


Darren Aaranofsky’s first major flick was Pi, and this twisted black and white look at obsession and paranoia was enough to get him into the big leagues. It’s a combination of Aaranofsky’s trademark incredibly quick cuts, the dense subject matter, and an unreliable narrator that causes Pi to be tricky to follow, as Max Cohen struggles to understand the universal patterns that occur through nature as a way of understanding and predicting the stock market. As he uncovers more and more of a number that may be at the root of things, or may be the unknown name of god, his sanity begins to erode, and his headaches increase, his final inevitable decline is as horrific as it is a relief — both for the viewer and the character.

13. eXistenZ


Cronenberg excels at making you question what is real and what is not, and eXistenZ asks that about video games and reality, as the story blurs the boundary between at least three or four levels of the interaction of both. With the advent of a total immersion video game, eXistenZ is all about asking how much is free will, how much is scripted, and how much is even real. As multiple levels of games and reality begin to emerge, the final scene eventually feels like the whole movie has been sorted out — until the very last line.

12. Solaris


Partly due to being in Russian and partly due to its legendary slow pacing, Solaris (the 1972 version) is notoriously hard to follow. Often called the Russian 2001, Solaris takes place on a space station where the researchers are starting to hallucinate and go insane. The hallucinations cause plenty of questioning about the nature of their reality, which when combined with a psychologist main character and the question of how to approach a truly, truly alien lifeform has lead to many scratching their heads. The final open end to the film leaves just as many questions raised as it answers. It’s still a damn good movie if you can handle the glacial pace, but don’t expect any easy answers.

11. Adaptation


Adaptation is utterly confusing, and unlike other films which blur the lines between reality and fantasy within the world of the movie, it takes on the borders between film and real life — as in our real life. Adaptation is an adaptation of a novel called The Orchid Thief, which has no plot to speak of. So the movie is about the movie’s writer struggling to adapt the book, and make a screenplay, which ends up being about him struggling to write a screenplay about the Orchid Thief. It consciously slips between Kaufman’s attempts to write a script true to a book that can’t be adapted, while shamelessly throwing in Hollywoodesque features like explosions, car chases, and love stories. Yeah, it’s bewildering, and just how true any of it is is entirely up for debate. It’s still a great film, though.

10. Akira


Without having read the immense manga or hitting wikipedia, understanding Akira on the first viewing is extremely tricky. The amount of information presented to the viewer is minimal, and the whole “wait, what happened to Akira? Where did he go? And the blue kids? There’s another universe?” thing is pretty damn hard to get your head around, especially when most of the movie only explains these things tangentially, and you’re more concerned about Tetsuo’s crazy ass powers. Repeated watching and further research really do clarify what the hell is going on, because otherwise you’re left bewildered.

9. 2001: A Space Odyssey


2001 is pretty damned hard to follow, mostly due to the bookends of the film, with the prehistoric opening and incredibly trippy closing, which serve to bewilder many viewers. The bit in the middles is juts fine, though. Kubrick was famously exacting in what he required from his films, and the slow pacing is entirely intentional, and so too is the requirement that you as a watcher actually have to think and interpret what is happening, and not have it handed to you on a platter. The transformation into the Star-Child — and proceeding bad trip through space — is definitely obtuse and was designed to be open to interpretation. My personal view is that when Bowman activates the monolith, he’s whisked to an alien zoo for observation, before they ascend him into a new form. But hey, that’s just me.

8. Naked Lunch


Cronenberg directing a book by Burroughs. You know there’s going to be nothing but batshit crazy here. Only really tangentially related to the book, Peter Weller’s laconic take on the insanity and surreality that surround him rapidly becomes an anchoring point for the viewer. Talking insects, hallucinogens, murder, sentient typewriters, psychic communications, body suits and all other manner of weirdness pervade it, and it’s certainly not for the squeamish or easily bewildered. Unlike many of the other stories on this list, Naked Lunch isn’t capable of being picked apart, instead it’s intentionally obtuse and inscrutable. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

7. Jacob’s Ladder


Military experiments, death, drugs, and psychic powers. Jacob’s Ladder is an utterly horrifying trip into the mind of a broken individual trying to escape the legacy of the horrors of Vietnam. I won’t ruin the ending — which could be viewed either as a cop out, or else the only logical end of the story — but it’s a kick in the gut, that’s for sure. Increasingly horrific hallucinations plague Jacob as he learns more about just what happened when he was wounded during the war, and how it’s linked to everything that’s happened since then. Uniquely terrifying and difficult to pick apart, the ending kind of does away with any real need to explain what’s going on.

6. Mulholland Drive


Pretty much any film by David Lynch belongs on this list, but lets bundle most of them up in with Mulholland Drive, which is possibly his most acclaimed work. Lets face it, barring maybe Elephant Man and Dune, Lynch’s work is uniquely surrealist, and hard to follow regardless of how well you understand his corpus of productions. Lynch has specifically avoided offering explanations of the goings on in Mulholland Drive, instead intentionally wanting viewers and critics to create their own opinions. Non-linear, bewildering, and inter-cut with seemingly unrelated chunks, it’s hard to follow even at the best of times, yet remains a powerful and influential film.

5. Holy Mountain


Chilean filmmaker/artist Alejandro Jodorowsky is either the closest thing we have to a mad prophet, or utterly insane, and I can’t decide which. Anything he makes is so densely packed with symbolism and metaphor that it will break your brain trying to understand what everything means — and it all means something. Steeped in tarot, mysticism, Christian magic, alchemy, and everything else weird and wonderful, his work is transcendental, if you can follow it. He’s more or less given up on film these days, instead focusing on comics where he isn’t limited by things like the laws of physics or budgets. Unfortunately, his later work has become almost a self-cliché, invariably hitting the same points over and over. Here’s something interesting, grab anything he’s done in the last decade, and tick off which of the following are in it: incest, violence and mutilation between family members, castration of a son by a father, a horrible disfiguring wound caused by a parent figure, obese and corrupt priests, back-stabbing royalty. Yeah, all of his stuff hits these points, regardless if it’s fantasy, historical, or sci-fi.

4. Donnie Darko


Donnie Darko is much, much deeper than I originally gave it credit for. I first went in with my brain turned off, expecting something “quirky”, but not actually deep. What I got was only the tip of the story, and it turns out there are volumes more information that you need to really appreciate what was going on — mostly given via the notoriously twisted and labyrinthine website. If you don’t have the time to invest the hours required to plumb its depth, I thoroughly recommend this guide.

3. Eraserhead


I know, we’ve already seen Lynch on this list, but could I really ignore the famously off-the-wall Eraserhead? It’s completely and utterly indescribable. There’s a guy, his wife, a horribly deformed baby which may or may not be human, explosions, machinery, oozing wounds and liquids, eraser shavings, and more craziness than I can even understand. It was Lynch’s first feature film, and is 89 minutes of pure snake-fucking crazy. Highly influential, but still utterly unintelligible, there’s really nothing you can do but try and ride it out, or devote a lifelong academic career to trying to decipher it.

2. Synecdoche, New York


Again we see a Charlie Kaufman flick. The guy really does excel at the mindfuck. This time starring the superb Philip Seymour Hoffman as a play director crippled by neuroses who receives an immense grant, and sets up a massive play in a warehouse where each actor acts out a private and banal life, mimicking the outside. Slowly the play begins to mirror the outside world more and more, as he is afflicted by a mysterious illness, to the point where he hires actors to portray people outside, including himself. The film twists in on itself constantly, with the impossibly large warehouse eventually housing a full replica of New York city, including its own impossibly large warehouse, and so on. Sharply dividing to critics, some hailed it as the best film of the decade, others as unintelligible gibberish. Thematically dense but incredible, if you can follow it, you’ll be justly rewarded.

1. Primer


Shot for a mere $7,000, Primer is about time travel. Sort of. It’s more about the breakdown between two people, but an incredibly confusing causally linked time travel mechanism underpins it. If someone tells you they understood it on their first viewing, they’re filthy liars. Written by a mathematician/engineer, none of the jargon or lingo is cut, making it as factually accurate as one could imagine a time travel story to be. The plot loops in on itself in recursive and terrifying ways. Trying to follow it? Here’s a sample timeline, here’s another, though this one is the most accurate. Yes, it really is that batshit confusing, but watching it over and over to pick it apart is surprisingly fun. Unlike some of the other films on this list which are confusing just to be confusing, Primer actually makes complete sense, if you’re willing to put enough time and effort into it to understand what’s going on.

Van Damme Friday : Painting the Sky Red!!

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